It was late at night when Ricky walked on the roofs like he used to do every night, watching for intruders or somebody trying to sneak out. But this night he also watched for somebody else - for their observer. He was now gone for five days, and he was long overdue. Everybody who knew of his mission worried about Adair, especially his adoptive father, headmaster Morituri. Ricky didn't like this damned shapeshifter, and he would have loved to kill him like he would love to kill every man who came near his little sister ... but he also knew that he was important for them - especially now that there were rumours that something was going on with the shapeshifters.
Suddenly he saw a shadow gliding over the roof of the school-building, and at the next moment he heared a bump as if something fell on the ground. Ricky suspected who this was. He hurried to the place where the sound came from and saw there a young elven man with the red-blonde hair; his clothes ragged - Adair. He was exhausted and wounded. Ricky called the guardsman who advanced now and told him to "Fetch the teachers!", then he took Adair on his arms and hurrily brought him to the infirmary to call Amaranth out of his bed.
Not long after, they all stood at his bed in the sick-room - the five brothers Andres, Diego, Angus, Brynjar and Adel; then Deracante, Lady Mertillia, Ricky and of course headmaster Morituri, listening to Adair, who insisted - against Amaranth's opinion - to speak with them instantly.
"We were right", Adair whispered. "The shapeshifters are coming. They usually live in small groups, but now they band together ... The humans took more and more .. of their woods and chased them away; many of the shapeshifters lost their homes and their families, and so they now join the Great Evil in their seeking for revenge. I--", he stopped, stuttering, "I cannot ... can't hold this shape any longer ... I was shifted for more than twelve hours, and I ... have to change back ... sorry ..."
Although all of them knew what he was, it was a little bit creepy for them to see how he shifted back into his original form - even Ricky got goosebumps at this sight. Adair's skin turned blue, it was partly covered with black scales, a tail grew, long claws appeared at his fingers, and his eyes turned white. And all that in contrast to the fine, long, dark red hair - a hair-colour which was uncommon for shapeshifters and came from his elven father.
Adair covered his eyes for the bright light of the lamp at the table near him hurt his sensitive shapeshifter-eyes. Morituri turned down the lamplight a little bit.
"I listened and watched them", Adair went on, with the lisp caused of his fangs, "until ... they sensed me. Later I saw a big horde attacking a human village. I ... wanted to help, but ... I was too weak in my elven form, so I changed back, and then the people attacked me too - I had to flee. The shapeshifters followed me and hunted me. I managed to hold the eagle shape until I reached the academy, then ... - I don't know if they are still close by - so watch out ... you know, Ricky, even birds ..."
Suddenly a female voice rose outside of the room; it was Elizabeth who undoubtedly heared he returned and wanted to see him immediately. "Don't let her in, Ricky, please!", Adair exclaimed, startled. "Get her away - she mustn't see me like this - don't let her come in!" Elizabeth didn't know he was a shapeshifter (like most of the pupils didn't know), and he knew she was afraid of them. Ricky gave him a short surprised glance, then he hurried out, and they heared his harsh voice when he tried to hold back his sister and her angry scolding when he dragged her out of the building.
For a moment there was silence, then Morituri said "You all know what to do." Then the others left, while Amaranth now finally could care for his patient. Only headmaster Morituri stayed with his extraordinary adoptive son.
"You really care for her, my dear boy", he said, taking the scaly hand with the long claws into his own.
"Yes, I do. I don't regret what I am. But if she knew ... I couldn't bear her expression when she looked at me with fear and disgust. I never want to see her like this."
Morituri nodded. "You won't, dear boy. Believe me, I know you never will see her like this, Adair."
Thanks for the hints and your help, Avalon!
Greets and hugs! :)
"The Night Watchers", Lady Mertillia, The Five Brothers, Ricky, Deracante, Elizabeth and Headmaster Morituri belong to AvalonTheQuin
Amaranth le Blanc belongs to PinkRobin
Adair de'Khell belongs to me