EXTREMELY IMPORTANT FOR EVERYBODY! FOR REAL! Normally I would skip author's notes too, but you must read this, because I have changed my username to pzadcat for those who know me as mi5hao. Now you may read the story :D

Chapter Three


Cynthia looked up from her book. It was suppertime.

"Aw, that's so sad. Artemis Fowl is such a good book," Cynthia said to no one in particular. She shut her book with a snap and stretched, standing up from her desk. She was supposed to go to the dining hall for 14 year olds, which was a little room with some kids her age. It isn't even a room, thought Cynthia. It's just half a room. Since she missed lunch, she was quite hungry. She pulled on her shoes and headed down to the ground floor.

"Hey Cynthia!" Cynthia turned around and smiled. It was Jasmine, as usual. She looked pretty much the same, with her light brown hair swept up into a long braid up to the middle of her back. Her hazel eyes were sparkled with amusement and she was in her usual bubbly mood.

"Hey Jasmine," Cynthia called. She stopped and waited for her friend.

"Where were you this morning?" asked Jasmine, "You weren't in your room or in arts and craft class."

"Oh, I…I was caught in on the forbidden floor," said Cynthia. She glanced Jasmine's way and saw the shock registering on her face.

"You went…wait, what? You went to the forbidden floor?" exclaimed Jasmine, her eyes widening.

"What did they do?" she squealed.

"Calm down, Jaz. They didn't do anything to me." That was sort of a lie. Cynthia just felt like the inspection was something not to tell Jasmine, because the more she thought about it, the more she started to feel like some bad memory was associated with it.

"Really? Oh okay then, that's fine." Jasmine relaxed and they continued their way down to the dining hall.

"Room number."


Tick. "In you go."

They had arrived at the dining hall and the caretaker was checking their names off as usual. They walked over to their seats and sat down.

"Ooh, look who's here," crooned a voice. Cynthia looked around. It was a girl with shoulder-length wavy blonde hair and bright green eyes. She was very pretty.

Cynthia ignored her, but Jasmine couldn't help it. "Well, who do you think is here?" she spat at the girl.

The girl looked at a few others sitting near her. "Did dope number one just say something dumb? I wonder why dope number two isn't doing something stupid to match it."

"You-!" Cynthia pulled Jasmine's sleeve and forced her to sit down as the girl's friends chuckled nervously.

"Just ignore Christina," she said so only Jasmine could hear.

Jasmine shook her head frantically. "How do you do that? Like ignore what she says to you? I just can't…ugh!"

Cynthia didn't reply. Everyone was here, exactly 9 of them, including themselves. Cynthia, Jasmine, Christina, Sarah, Joseph, Joshua, Titus, Adam, and Joy. They all gathered around the table, filling their plates with the meager food. Christina turned to her so-called friends.

"Oh right, when is everyone leaving our cozy little group? I mean like to the forbidden floor?" asked Christina lightly. She glanced at Jasmine and smiled sweetly at her. "I hope you're first." There's one thing you should know about the forbidden floor. Every year, the orphans turning fifteen disappear on their fifteenth birthday. When the others asked where they went, the caretakers would say to the forbidden floor. They would say that the disappeared orphans had finally become old enough to go there. Anyway, every orphan feared going to the forbidden floor. Because, well, who knew what was there? And how come those orphans just…disappeared completely? Cynthia glanced at her friend and saw that her knuckles were turning white from clutching her fork so tightly.

"Don't," she said, a bit warningly. Cynthia watched nervously as Jasmine clenched and unclenched her fist. She was fully aware that if Jasmine got out of control like last time, all of them would probably end up in the infirmary for a few days. Jasmine glared at Christina, who wisely returned to her gang and talked to them instead. Cynthia was done eating in a flash. She had wolfed down the few pork chops, broccoli and bread slice on her plate, washed down with cold water, having missed lunch. She actually missed breakfast as well, but Jasmine had saved a small bowl of porridge and a cup of orange juice (I know those don't exactly go together well) for her, set on her desk with a note.

"Eat your food," Cynthia advised Jasmine, who was still trying to shoot bombs out of her eyes at Christina.

"I'm going to kill her some day. You just wait," growled Jasmine. She stabbed a piece of broccoli with a bit too much force and put it in her mouth, all the while glaring. Cynthia sighed. There was no reasoning with Jasmine. And actually, Cynthia had been pretty ready to strangle Christina since she was six. That girl just had to be…a brat, Cynthia thought. From when she just arrived in 2007 she'd assumed herself to be the queen of their year group. Cynthia disliked Christina on first sight but that "dislike" had turned into enmity when Christina started taunting her friend Angie. However, Angie died a few days after a particularly big fight between Christina and Cynthia in what was claimed to be a "freak accident". Cynthia had been convinced that Christina had to do with it, but there was no way to prove it, and so the matter passed. Then, Christina had turned to Jasmine, the new girl joining the 9 year olds. Cynthia became extra defensive because of what happened to Angie, and defended her from the start, which is how they'd became best friends.

Cynthia sat quietly at the table, observing her, I guess you would call them, year mates as they ate and laughed together. Christina was with her small gang, who Cynthia thought were too cowardly to stand up to her, resulting in the opposite, following the bully. Finally when Christina seemed to be done with her meal, she turned to Cynthia and Jasmine. Time for taunting to start, Cynthia thought, annoyed. And so it did.

"So, like I was asking, who's leaving first?" Christina started again in a loud enough voice for everyone to turn and look at her.

"Does that matter?" asked Joy, a girl with strawberry blonde hair and bright blue eyes, looking at Christina in annoyance. Cynthia smiled.

Oh, burn, thought Cynthia excitedly. Joy was a bold girl. She sure didn't have any problem expressing her feelings and thoughts. Christina seemed lost for words for a second. Then she huffed, flipped her hair and announced that she was going to bed. Then she left with her friends Sarah and Adam following closely behind.

Cynthia sighed and shook her head at Christina's attitude. She shook Jasmine's arm gently and said, "You done?" Jasmine nodded and they left quietly too, heading to Jasmine's room. They left the door open and sat on Jasmine's bed, laughing and chatting like normal fourteen year old girls would. Jasmine flicked on the light because of the gathering storm outside the window and studied Cynthia.

"What?" Cynthia asked, hands reaching up to see if she had something dirty on her face.

"Nothing," Jasmine said. "Your hair just seems blue for some reason. Like really dark blue."

"Really?" Cynthia asked, curious. "I've never dyed it. Or at least, I don't remember dying it. You don't get that here."

"I know," Jasmine said, "it's just…nah. My eyes haven't been right since I stared straight at that piece of burning magnesium in chem class."

Cynthia shrugged her shoulders in a sign of Whatever and they returned to talking. The rain started to fall outside and it made a loud pit-pat-pit-pat sound. Cynthia moved closer to the window and glanced outside as Jasmine rummaged through her wardrobe looking for her raincoat. Lightning struck and lit up the world momentarily. Cynthia noticed two people wearing their normal clothes without a raincoat standing a few feet apart and facing each other on the pavement seven stories below. Then it was dark again and she couldn't see them anymore.

Suddenly, there was a flash of bright green and Cynthia saw the person on the left put his hand over a jar and out of his hand shot green flames. Then he screwed it shut and both people huddled around the jar of green flames. Cynthia shook her head and blinked a few times. The two people were gone.

Cynthia backed away from the window. "Hey, Jaz, did you…did you see that?"


"Did you see the two people down there?"

"Sorry, I wasn't looking."

"Yeah, but this guy shot flames out of his hand," said Cynthia. Jasmine stopped searching and straightened up.

"You sure you're okay?" she asked.

"I'm fine. I swear, this guy just shot flames out of his hands," Cynthia said. Jasmine giggled nervously. "You read too much fantasy," she said. Cynthia didn't say anything more, but she was pretty sure that her mind wasn't playing tricks on her.

"Come on," said Jasmine, "we'll be late for our activities, which I think Christina forgot about." She tugged Cynthia by the arm and together they exited Jasmine's room.

How was that? And I'm sorry about the whole username change thing, it's just cuz my family doesn't let me "waste my time writing novels". So yesterday they found my only story and said to me, "hey look, that author has the same username that you use!" So yeah, sorry about the change of name again. -pzadcat (mi5hao)