"Der Freundschaft stolzes Siegel tragen viele, die in der Prüfungsstunde treulos fliehn." – Friedrich von Schiller
It happens during PE. Warren had been freaking out for weeks by that point due to the fact that he had been growing two painful bumps at his back, something which hadn't been hard for Charles to glean from him since it was at the front of his mind near constantly. He had hesitated walking up to Warren and addressing the issue – Warren didn't know yet he was a mutant, didn't even suspect, but to Charles it was obvious with the physical changes that were going on. Raven had told Charles not to bring it up – they weren't good friends with Warren, and he would see it as intrusive and maybe even threatening if Charles just addressed it.
So he hadn't, and he'll never be really sure if he should have or not.
They're playing basketball and somebody body-checks Warren, which really isn't much of a big deal. Except Warren stumbles and awkwardly lands on his back, right on the bumps, and suddenly he's screaming and writhing and there's blood soaking through his shirt, and when the teacher – half-panicked, because what to do, what to do, he shouldn't be bleeding, they need an ambulance, he needs this job – pulls his shirt up to see the wounds, it turns out the bumps have burst open and in between the raw, open flesh, there's tiny wings, feathers clumped with blood. It's a gruesome sight that makes the other students scream and back away; even the teacher flinches and recoils. A moment later, other adults are there, and then they get ushered away from Warren, still writhing in pain, smearing blood everywhere.
They get sent home early that day, and Charles and Raven sit together in their corner of the library, not really talking about it.
The next day, Charles knows something is off the moment he enters the classroom. Their teacher, Mrs. Fisher, pointedly does not mention Warren or yesterday's incident; it makes Charles curious and suspicious, so he probes into her mind.
What he finds makes him feel cold, and he straightens in his seat. "Where is Warren?", he interrupts her loudly mid-talk.
Her mouth tightens. "Charles, you shouldn't interrupt-"
"He was expelled, wasn't he?", Charles talks over her loudly. "You expelled him because he's a mutant." Admittedly, Warren's father had played a part in that as well – Charles can see the whole scene played out in her head – but it was the school who had given the initiative.
Mrs. Fisher takes a deep breath; she's annoyed because a twelve-years-old boy questions her like that and worried because deep down, she knows it wasn't right, expelling Warren. She isn't really sure mutants are really humans, but there is that mutant who had been a victim of the Holocaust, and his associate who keeps reminding people that the first step towards such a horrendous action is identification and segregation, and she can see how that isn't right.
"Warren left the school due to health reasons," she recites the official explanation.
"Begging you pardon, that's complete bullshit," Charles retorts bluntly. He's absolutely furious; he knows he should maybe be a little more diplomatic, sway her towards his side, but right now, he's not even able to. What if Raven had, for just a moment, lost her concentration and flickered towards her natural, blue form? That's all it would take, and it still happens to her sometimes when she's startled or when she stubs her toe.
Mrs. Fisher is completely shocked. Charles tends towards being a model student, if only because he genuinely enjoys learning, and she's never heard him use such language.
"No." Charles stands up. "You expelled Warren because he's a mutant. Do you want to know how I know that? Because I am a mutant too."
Mrs. Fisher gasps and inadvertently takes a step back, more out of shock than anything, but that's enough already. Crossing his arms, Charles tells her without opening his mouth, I'm a telepath.
"Me too," Raven suddenly says; she sounds a little shaky, but she rises from her chair as well. Inside, she's absolutely terrified – Charles knows some of the nastier things that happened to her, how she was treated because of her blue form, but she stands with Charles. A moment later, she flickers into her blue form; Charles his absolutely shocked. He barely even notices the other students, who are even more shocked; some of them squeak and jump up to back away from Raven. It hurts Raven, but she doesn't let it show from the outside – she's completely frozen in terror, but there is a flicker of resolve, the need to stand with Charles.
Charles almost speechless with admiration and he loves her fiercely in that moment. Walking over to her, he takes her hand and sends a pulse of reassurance and love towards her; she squeezes his hand but doesn't raise her eyes from the floor.
Pulling her closer, Charles wraps an arm around Raven's shoulders and, together, they face Mrs. Fisher. "Are you going to expel us too?", he demands. He knows they probably won't, and if they don't, they'll have to let Warren back as well.