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Midnight Tour


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God this place looks way creepier after dark.’ Sure Luke could actually see clearly, even with no lights, perks of being a mythological monster in disguise, yet while perhaps it was just his imagination, the young man could not shake the feeling that Claremont did feel a bit like a haunted castle if you looked at the place in the right way.


He had been circling the Academy for a while, trying to find a way in, but turns out that a school for heroes valued its privacy and his confidence in being able to get past its walls unnoticed was getting lower with every passing minute. 'This is pointless.' And risky, what if they caught him? That would be an interesting way to start the school year, especially as a scholarship student. And yet, there he was.


‘Maybe I should just get to bed…’ No way though. He wanted to see Claremont on his own terms and it was gonna happen tonight. Sure, the tour a few days before had been very convincing (kinda awesome if you asked him), but that was the whole point right? Show off the place at its best, with all its glitters, glamours and magics. That was not enough for the teenage boy though, he wanted to see past the paint job, check if there was rust underneath.


Trust was good, he  knew that, in fact kinda of a necessity in his future line of work, but he was still putting his life in the hands of these people and truth was, he didn't know anything about them, or the Academy. It was only fair... Besides it was not like he was there to commit a crime (well technically), just taking a peak. 'Whatever.'


So there he was, black sweatpants and sneakers, hands struck in the pocket of his hoodie, darting from one shadow to the next. ‘If anyone sees me they must think I must be the most foolish burglar in the world.’ The thought made him chuckle. Yeah trying to get into an academy for superheroes. ‘Come on! It’s a school, not freaking Fort Knox, there should be a way…



Edited by Nerdzul
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A blue BMW SUV came slowly driving towards the gate; it then paused for a few moments, and then pulled over to the side of the street and parked with the engine running. A few seconds later, Luke heard a female voice with a strong Southern accent speak softly in his ear.


"What'cha doin' skulkin' 'round in the shadows? You up to somethin'?" A young girl was abruptly standing next to him, dressed all in black, a bit like a ninja out of a bad 80s movie; she appeared to be excited and up for some mischief. What showed of her face was pale with dark eyes, and quite pretty.

Edited by Heritage
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Woah…” that was… well unexpected, startling maybe, now he was not easy to scare, but he would have to admit that his heart had skipped a beat or two. She was like, well she had appeared out of thin air. Fooling even his monster senses. Awesome in a way, a bit worrying perhaps, especially for his plan to get into the school unseen… Yeah fat chances he would be able to do that now, he had been spotted even before setting his feet past the walls. ‘Well done Luke… Congrats…’ Assuming that she was from the school though. 


He turned suddenly to face her, his eyes sinking in the dark pool of her own. She was well, she had good looks didn't she? Even clad in that Ninja attire. It was foolish to focus on that given the situation, but well, then again dragon or not, he was a sixteen years old boy.


Maybe.” He smirked playfully, once he had regained enough of his composure. “Are you? I mean, you look like you’re dressed for some mischief, you know?” Perhaps she could actually help him out? “Trying to figure out a way in myself.” He admitted, sure he could lie about it, but then again, if she could sneak on him so easily she had probably had enough time to figure out what he was doing on her own.

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The girl laughed and shook her head. "Oh, you're tryin' to sneak into 'Hogwarts'? You're either crazy, dumb or both! Ain't you heard the stories they tell about that place?" She leaned in close and whispered in his ear, close enough for Luke to smell her herbal shampoo and soap. "Ah hear all the kids in there are some kinda weirdos! With like, weird powers and s###! KIds that fly, or shoot lasers from their eyes, or maybe even read your mind!" She shuddered dramatically. "But hell, you must be braver than me if you're plannin' to sneak into that place."


Then the girl stopped and peered over at the parked SUV, headlights on and engine still running. "Hey, you see that car idlin' over there? Ah think they're spyin' on us!" She then began defiantly marching straight over to the SUV, pulling back her ninja hood to let her long, red hair tumble free. "Hey, man! You see somethin' that you like? Huh?" The driver was invisible behind the glare of the headlights.

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"Or maybe I just have guts” He smirked confidently. “Besides, yeah I had heard those, more reasons to take a peek.” He leaned closer and whispered back, if he had any objection to her proximity he certainly didn’t show it.


Whoohooo scary… I can make tricks too you know? Can tie a cherry stem in my mouth in less than twenty.” He teased, grinning playfully. Truth was, just a year or so ago, talking so casually about mind reading or shooting laser from the eyes would have weirded him out, but then again, it was great how much your life could change. “To anyone their talents. Oh and I can also  breathe fire, but I mean... which one 'd be more useful at a party?”  He made it sound like he was joking though, just in case, she certainly looked like a fun type, but that didn’t mean that he had to show all of his cards that soon. “My bet, though, you do have some aces up your sleeves too.” 


Really?” Could as well be, awesome… Yep he really was a master infiltrator right? “Hey…” He sighed as the newcomer headed toward the car, his eyes following her slender figure before the young man finally decided to chase after her. “For someone dressed as a ninja I’d have expected a bit more… well, discretion, you know?” He teased again.


Whatever time to confront whoever was in that car it seemed.

Edited by Nerdzul
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When she got to the car, the redheaded girl stopped dead in her tracks and uttered, 'Whoa." After several seconds of silence, she called out to Luke, her eyes not leaving the occupant of the car; there was fear in her voice. "Uh, whatever your name is? Ah think you better come see this."


Once he approached the car, Luke was able to see the driver was...the redheaded girl? There she was, same face, same hair, but dressed in fairly nice, fashionable clothes, and with the same mischievous look on her face as- wait, where'd the ninja girl go?!


"Sorry 'bout the mindf###; us telepaths are the worst kind of weirdo. My name's Lulu." The passenger side door unlocked. "Hop in! Let's talk."

Edited by Heritage
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Luke frowned, this was weird wasn’t it, what the hell was going on. “Uh… yeah sure.” 


What? Are you two twins or something?” Yeah very likely wasn’t it? He turned to face his new friend, but she was gone, messed up, if you asked him. Oh well, was he thinking about having grown accustomed to a new normal just a few moments before wasn’t him?


That was weird.” He shrugged. “It’s not exactly polite getting into someone’s head, I’d call it more of a third date thing, you know?” He teased again as he stepped closer to her side of the car, so that their gazes could meet. 


Name is Luke… Nice to meet you Lulu.” He smiled as he offered to shake hands. “And I’m all for a ride, but I mean, before I get in your car perhaps you can tell me what is going on?” She must have been from the school. Yeah it made sense, roughly his same age, superpowers. And she was hot, but that didn’t have anything to do with the situation at hand didn’t it?

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"Yeah, sorry about that," she said with a sigh as she shook his hand and rolled her eyes. "Ah try to be good mostly, but you was hidin' over there, broadcastin' thoughts about sneakin' into my school, and ah got weak; couldn't resist givin' you shit. Look, if it makes you feel more comfortable- " Her clothes appeared to change into the silly ninja outfit her 'doppleganger' was wearing. "Ta-da! Mentally-projected illusions. And while we're on the subject of broadcastin', ah already got a boyfriend, Luke." She shrugged. "Sorry. But ah can always use more friends, if you can forgive me for bein' a little brat." She grimaced and shrugged again. "Buy you a late night snack, we call it even? Ah think White Castle's still open."

Edited by Heritage
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Don’t worry… I try to be good all the time.” He shrugged and gave her another playful smirk. “Just, well a boy needs a bit of privacy, you know…” He chuckled. “Anyway, yeah I was trying to sneak in, I mean, no reason to lie now. Gonna get to school too in a couple of weeks and well wanted to see the place with my own eyes.” He admitted.


I know. I know. Not super trusting of me, but you know how people say that not all that glitters is gold... and Claremont, is very shiny.” No way he was gonna get in tonight though. 


He hesitated for a few moments, then his expression brightened, there was an easier solution to his problem after all. “Hey, maybe you can tell me more about the place?


 “Cool…” He smiled. “Although, your current outfit worked for me already.” 


And that’s a f*cking shame if you ask me. But I mean nobody is perfect.” He teased, the smirk still on his lips.


Maybe I can, just this time.” He chuckled again as he turned around the car to get to the passenger seat. “And you do know how to bribe a guy.” He grinned. “Although be warned, I can eat like a dozen of those burgers. So yeah, I’ll accept only if you let me offer you an ice-cream one of these days.

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"It's all good," Lulu said with a nod as she turned the SUV around and began heading towards the nearby commercial district. "So ah'm a senior, class of '21, startin' mah third year at Claremont. Ah've seen some crazy s### in mah time here: demonic possession, interstellar travel, a haunted house that turned a bunch of us into little kids. Scary stuff! The key- " And here she pointed at Luke for emphasis. "To survivin' your first year at Claremont is not the teachers, though they sure do their best. The key is to find a friend or two you can trust, like really trust. You ever hear that phrase, 'A friend's someone you call to help you move; a good friend's someone you call to help you move a body'? That's what you're lookin' for, bud."


Shooting a quick glance Luke's way, Lulu busted out laughing at his expression. "Naw, man, ah ain't moved any bodies; not yet, anyway. But ah sure as hell know who ah'd call if ah did. You feel me, man?"

Edited by Heritage
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Third year? Not bad, sophomore myself.” He lowered his eyes for a moment. “Yeah I know what you’re thinkin’ I'm too old for that, but well... Last year, got into a bit of a mess.” Yep, like being thrown in Juvie and all. God, hopefully Lulu wasn’t reading his thoughts right now, after all she had already caught him sneaking around, there was no need for her to also know about his criminal past, not tonight at least.


Demonic Possession? That’s crazy dude.” He chuckled. “Worst thing that happened at my school was…” well, not as fun as getting turned into a little kid, that was for sure, as most school in a depressed neighbourhood, Luke’s had its shares of troubles. Whatever. “When I blow up the science lab during chemistry class” He joked. “And I mean, it wasn’t even explosive stuff. And no that’s not why I was held back.”


Awesome. I feel like I’m already on a good path for that.” He smirked as his gaze sought to meet Lulu’s.


Yeah, definitely, same for you.” He laughed with her. 

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Lulu shook her head and tsked. "'Bit of a mess', huh? Are we talkin' 'angry parents' or 'time in juvie', because there's sort of a spectrum there." She smiled and nodded. "Yeah, we got our share of delinquents at Claremont; a lot of court ordered kids. Me, ah came through DCFS and the foster system. No matter how bad you think you got it, there's another kid's got it worse; sort of our unofficial school motto."


The SUV pulled into the drive-through lane and powered down the window, and a garbled voice crackled out of the speaker. "-elcome to White Castle, can I take your order?"


"Hi, good evenin'. Ah'll have the Slider Combo with cheese, onion rings and a regular vanilla shake. Oh, and an extra cheese Slider on the side!" She turned to Luke. "What you want? Don't worry about the cost, ah'm loaded."

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Was it that easy to guess or are you still in my head?” The young man smiled, but it didn’t fully reach his eyes. “Both… one led to the other.” He ruffled the hair on the back of his neck. “Not exactly son of the year...” Yeah to put it lightly, truth was though, his parents were still immensely supportive, it was Luke that made things worse once he got out. 


Theft, if you wanna know.” He lowered his eyes, now it was a confession that he was not exactly willing to make, but then again, lying to a telepath was kinda of pointless, plus, she had just pretty much called him friend and even if they had just met, it still felt dirty to deceive her. “Found out what I really was at FJH.


Woah, you didn’t have it easy either. Sorry.” This time his smile softened.


I… I’m adopted myself. Never met my biological parents.” He shrugged. “And for the best or today I’d be around terrorizing villages and devouring fair maidens.” The playful grin returned to his lips. “And that would definitely be a waste if you ask me.


Yeah guess you have to really be somethin’ if you wanna be a superhero.” He chuckled, yep, it didn’t take a genius to imagine that, despite the posh boarding school facade, most Claremonter didn’t exactly have the happiest upbringings.


The scent of onions, greasy burgers and bread reached his nostrils well before they got to the fast food, prompting the young man to lick his lips (after all there was nothing in the world that tasted better than burgers). "Sorry..."


"Where do we wanna go and eat them? Beachside maybe?"


Don't mind if I do then.” He grinned. “I will go for a sack, five beacon, five cheese, plus coke and why not, toss in some onion rings.”

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Once they picked up their food (Lulu paid with a platinum card), Lulu began driving towards the river. "There's a little park 'round here with a good view of downtown." She slurped loudly on her vanilla shake before continuing. "As a rule, ah try not to take a peep inside once ah know someone; ah mean, it's always a bit rude, but much worse if it's someone you see on a regular basis." She made a gesture that took in the SUV and her clothes, which had reverted back to her normal high-end threads at some point. "All of this is pretty damn recent; four years ago ah was broke as could be. Ah hit the foster family jackpot, to be honest." The telepath sighed before continuing. "Most of mah family back home in Alabama is doin' time for mail and wire fraud, so...ah don't see 'em too much..."


Soon the SUV pulled over onto a gravel shoulder and Lulu hopped out. "C'mon...and tell me 'bout these fair maidens you ain't been devourin'?"

Edited by Heritage
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Cool…” Luke nodded. “Nice to know, I mean it’s not like I have that many secrets left, but it’s weird knowing that you don’t have privacy in your own head.” Yep, definitely a bit creepy too, but truth was, Lulu seemed nice. “Sorry, I imagine that I’m not the first one to point that out… How is it? I mean… knowing that you could peer any guy’s thoughts? I guess that you must have seen some sick stuff...


Awesome. And how are your new parents? I got super lucky with mine.” He smiled again, fondly this time. “I mean, they are the most forgiving parents ever and knowing their son it's definitely needed… Plus my little bro is great, a pain in the ass sometimes, but sweet kid.


Well at the moment I got none actually, which means I am on the market.” He grinned as he got out of the car himself, carrying the bag with their meals. “If you meant why the devouring though, well, like me, they are probably dragons.” He looked thoughtful for a moment. “Hey… can you, like cover me up or something with your mind tricks? I can show you how I look, but I don’t wanna scare half the neighborhood shitless.

Edited by Nerdzul
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"You have no idea," Lulu groaned as she rolled her eyes as she led Luke to the water's edge. "Mah powers kicked in when ah was ten, long before ah'd developed any kind of moral compass, so ah pretty much went into everyone's head. It took me a while to accept the fact that pretty much all men are pigs, but that ain't exactly their fault; they're just wired that way. If you're a good lookin' girl, boys are goin' to undress you with their eyes; same as a girls checkin' out a sweet ass. But beneath all that filth, which is just part of our animal nature, most folks are alright." She shrugged. "The good Lord made us both weak and strong in different areas. Now, check out that view!"


Across the Wading River, the skyline of Freedom loomed, all lit up and reflected in the rippling water. It truly was an impressive sight.


Turning back to the sophomore, Lulu arched an eyebrow. "Sounds like ah'm in for quite a show!" She closed her eyes for a few moments, then opened them and nodded. "Alright, mental screen is activated."

Edited by Heritage
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Yeah I can imagine…” Luke chuckled, but then again he had done pretty much exactly that the moment he had found Lulu whispering in his ears.


"And don't worry I did't do much better when I discovered I got superpowers." Yep pretty much an understatement wasn't it? He lowered his eyes.


Bet it sucked, but I mean, you must have a lot of neat tricks now.” 


Awesome.” He smiled fondly. “Makes you want to take a dive, you know?” He smirked as he stretched his arms behind his back. It did though, didn’t it? Perhaps they could drive, or why now, fly, toward the bay, would be fun, wouldn’t it? 


Definitely.” He grinned and bowed his head. “Ladies and Gentlemen.” He pretended to remove a top hat from his head and bowed again. 


Then he closed his eyes, a burning golden light started to radiate from his chest, as a coat of basalt-like scales began covering his flesh. He crouched on the floor, as his form twisted, growing in size, massive leathery black wings erupting from his back, his features shifted to a reptilian appearance and his smile was soon filled with rows and rows of fangs. The golden light burned through his eyes, when the flash was over, their natural green hue had been replaced by solid gold. A crown of golden crests grew from the back of his skulls, forming a line down his spine and finally his tail. Powerful claws sank into the ground, when the change was finally over the sixteen feet tall monster, stretched his wings and standing only on his hind legs and roared triumphantly toward the sky. 


Then Luke turned his serpentine neck toward Lulu and gave her a satisfied grin. “The show includes a ride, if the lady doesn’t mind.

Edited by Nerdzul
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Lulu laughed and shook her head. "What, and miss a chance to get my Khaleesi on? Not f###in' likely!" As soon as she made the Game of Thrones reference, her hair and outfit appeared to change to more closely match Daenerys Stormborn as she practically leaped onto Luke's back, one leg on either side. "Oh, this is goin' to be fun to explain to mah boyfriend,"  she said with a rueful chuckle. "'Look, when ah say ah was ridin' him, that's exactly what ah mean! Ah mean, ah'm sure you can ride him, too!'"

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Luke chuckled between his fangs. “My queen.” He lowered his neck, so that she could more easily step on his back. “You look great in Dany’s clothes by the way.” He added shortly thereafter.


Hey I’m very selective in who gets to ride me, you know?” He laughed playfully.


 “Hold tight.” He smirked as he got ready to take the air. God he could remember the amazement of the first time he had tried to fly, it was still there today. Even with his massive frame, the sense of freedom was almost overwhelming, the feeling of the wind darting under his wings a pleasure to behold. The whole world become small beneath them.


Bayview and its mansions and villas unfolded below, a loose spiderweb of lights, concrete and trees. He roared again, as he dashed through a tiny cloud. 


Where to my queen? I for once, would definitely not mind a swim.” He grinned again.

Edited by Nerdzul
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As soon as she was up in the air, Lulu became acutely aware of two things. One, this was one of the most thrilling things she'd ever done in her young life, and two, it was weird and kind of inappropriate for her to be riding another student, even if they were currently a dragon. Maybe if there were some sort of saddle involved, but bareback was a major no-go.


"Uh, y'know, y'know what? Ah'm kind of, uh, feelin' them White Castles swishing around funny downstairs, y'know what a mean? Maybe just do a, like, a quick pass over the river and head back, okay? Ah don't want to toss mah cookies all over your back."

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As you command.” Luke chuckled. He begun to glide down toward the river, in large circles, trying to keep his movements smooth and comfortable enough for his passenger. “You know? This whole flying people around is pretty new for me, sorry if I got carried away…” He felt the impulse to scratch the back of his neck, which of course given the situation was now impossible. It was weird like some of his human habits carried over, even when his form had changed so much.


He soared over the river for a few moment, letting the spectacle sink in. “Whohooo….” He half shouted half roared and then headed back to their overlook. Once there, he lowered his neck so that Lulu could more easily ‘dismount’. “There… feeling better?” He smiled.


I bet, my little bro would love  this.... if just... well... dunno if it's safe for him to know.

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"Ah'm much better, thanks," Lulu said as she put a hand to her tummy, her Khaleesi wear fading back to her usual fashionable look. "This might sound kind of weird, but maybe you could make some sort of ridin' saddle? Obviously you wouldn't need reins or a bridle, but maybe add some handles and securin' straps, y'know, for safety."

Edited by Heritage
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A saddle?” Luke chuckled. “That’s really kinky you know.” He teased a playful smile on his lips, well, the best one he could muster given his reptilian features. Speaking of which, it was perhaps time to be back to normal right? Yeah, a lot less awkward that way. He roared again as the same golden light begun burning in his chest, dancing beneath his scales, following his crown of crest as once again his shape twisted back into the one of a sixteen years old boy


 “That said, yeah it’d probably be safer that way, I mean not everyone one is a freakin’ Targaryen around here.” He continued the conversation as he steadied himself back up on his feet, like if nothing out of the ordinary had just transpired. “I mean, I wouldn’t know exactly where to carry one.”He mused. “Dunno, perhaps some bindings or something…


Anyway… Did you enjoy the view?

Edited by Nerdzul
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"It was....it was great." Lulu winced and pinched the bridge of her nose. "Look, Luke, ah'm not sure....mah Lord, ah sound like mah Aunt Polly. Ah'm not sure this is the best idea; us hangin' out alone." She stroked her chin thoughtfully. "Now ah can't speak for you, on account ah'm tryin' to stay out of your head, but ah think there's a little bit of chemistry between us...a little heat. And in a parallel world where ah'm not datin' an amazin' guy, that wouldn't be a problem." 


The redhead sighed and shook her head. "But we ain't on that world right now. And ah may be a telepath and smart as a whip, but ah'm still an eighteen year old girl; ah got a mind an' body an' feelin's that ah cannot always control. So maybe it's better if ah drop you off somewheres and we call it a night." She scrunched up her face and shrugged "Whattya say?"

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Luke furrowed his brows as he listened to Lulu. “Yeah. I guess it would have been a fun parallel world.” There was no need to deny it, mind reader or otherwise, he smiled, but it didn’t fully reach his eyes.


But it’s ok. As I said… Your guy is a lucky one.”


Sure…  and no problem I can give my wings another stretch.” Well, he couldn't exactly fly home in front of everyone, but whatever there was no need to make things more awkward between them. “Besides, you did manage to convince me not to sneak in at school. I'd call it a win already. Christ that was a stupid idea, wasn't it?" He chuckled as his gaze met Lulu's.


It’s good night then…

Edited by Nerdzul
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