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Gallagher Girls: the Next Generation | The Girl Time Forgot

Chapter Text

“Persephone Blackburn, you are under arrest.”

        The door to my room burst open as loud footsteps stomped in on the wooden floors, I held up a hand at the sweeping lights of flashlights as they blinded my eyes and flashed about the dark room before they settled on me. A tall, slender woman dressed in all black and sunglasses with her light brown hair pulled back into a ponytail, came through the door and stood at the centre of my room, and as my eyes recovered from the light’s assault, I saw a small smirk tug at the corner of her lips. My eyes darted from the woman to the five officers in black SWAT uniforms surrounding me, and even with all the knowledge I knew about disappearing and making a flashy exit, I knew when it’s impossible to make a clean escape, especially when five assault rifles were trained on me. So I slowly raised both my hands and the smirk on the woman’s face grew, she gave a subtle nod signaling the closest officer, who came up to me and took my wrist, they twisted me around and I heard the clicks of handcuffs and felt them pinching my skin. My eyes drifted down to the card on the desk in front of me, a large moon was drawn in the centre of the card and in front of the moon was a wolf howling and a crayfish just below in the waters, and at the bottom of the card in bold letters were the wordsThe Moon. From behind I heard the woman approach as her heels clicked on the wooden floors, I turned my head then felt a slap to my forehead, it felt warm and soon my eyelids were growing heavier and heavier, my breathing and heartbeat slowed and then darkness engulfed my vision.

        Consciousness floated back to me and I woke up to find a cold, hard surface beneath my left cheek, I jolted backward and heard the rattling of chains, and I noticed the long silver chain clamped to the metal table in front me and my wrists caged in the handcuffs on the other end of the chains. My surroundings were shadowed in black with only the bright light hanging over me, and to my left stood three large screens. I heard the click of a door opening then footsteps approaching, and the woman from before appeared out of the shadows, she wore the same black suit but discarded the sunglasses, and I noticed she looked rather ordinary although she was anything but plain, nothing about her seemed to pop out, not her brown hair or eyes and I knew if she were to be in a crowd of people, I doubt I’d even notice or remember her.

        “Hello Ms. Blackburn,” She said with a smile as she took a seat across from me and placed a file in front of her. “I know your name, but you don’t even know mine. I’m Agent Cameron Goode. Would you like anything to drink? Anything to eat?”

        “What am I charged for?” I bluntly asked. Okay, in retrospect that was a stupid question because I knew exactly what I do and the cost of my actions, and I didn’t expect Agent Goode to know but she must have because she cocked a perfectly plucked brow. The chains rattled as I shifted in my seat.

        “Shall we take a look?” She said and gestured to the three screens on my left, I turned my head and the black screens exploded with colour and images. I felt my breath catch as I looked at the screen in the middle, a girl dressed in a simple short black and gold one piece with a black jacket stood in the centre, her pale face glowed in the light of the stage, her smile wide and charming as she waved to the crowd, her mouth moved but there came no sound. Her dark eyes were framed by the elegant yet simple black mask that hid away her true identity, and at the right of her jacket, glimmering in gold thread, was a large cursive A.

        “You’re the Ace of the Four Suits, and definitely the hardest one to track out of the other three.” Agent Goode pointed to the screen where on the two other screens, three other masked faces appeared, all waving and smiling, all voices muted and I wondered if the others were chained and interrogated as well. “And what the four of you did last month was very impressive,” Another smirk tugged at Agent Goode’s lip, “but also seen as a crime to some people.” I shrugged.

        “Not our fault that insurance company didn’t give two shits about their customers. We only returned what rightful belonged to them.” I leaned back in my chair. “So am I charged for playing Robin Hood?” It was Agent Goode’s turn to lean back in her chair, but a mischievous smile crossed her lips and our gazes never left the other.

        “No,” She simple said. “This is not the case I’m extremely interested in.” Agent Goode admitted then opened the folder in front of her, where she pulled out a picture and slid it toward me. I leaned forward and saw the one face that always clouded my vision with anger and boiled my blood at the mention of his name, but my head was calm and my blood cool as I looked back up at Agent Goode.

        “Mr. Craw, one of the richest men and with the highest security around his home, committed suicide a little over a year ago because he could have sworn a little girl was out to kill him.” Agent Goode then slid another photo, this one was a blurry mess of black and white and grain as the photo was zoomed in, but in the mess was an outline of the silhouette of a girl just a little ways from the dead body that drowned in its own blood. If I hadn’t known better, I would have shivered at the sight of the photo, at the creepy girl standing in the shadows, at the dead man in the tub with blood overflowing, but I did know better because that girl, that fifteen year old girl in the shadows, was me.

        “Now,” Agent Goode continued, “she was good, really good.” She emphasized her voice almost in awe and I glanced up. “But not quite good enough.” And Agent Goode held up a small piece of fabric, ripped and frayed at the ends, and I thought back to the hole in my sweater. This time Agent Goode leaned forward, her stare firm and her hands clasped together on the table in front of her.
“And this is where it gets interesting,” Her voice low. “We traced this fabric back to its owner but to our surprise it led us to a dead end, and that dead end was Rose Ch–”

        “Your point is?” I snapped.

        “How did you do it, Ms. Blackburn?” Agent Goode asked. “How did you get past Mr. Craw’s tight security, alone? How did you drive Mr. Craw so far gone that he had no other choice but to take his own life?” Her words should have shot a pang of guilt or shame through me, but they didn’t. I should have been guilty for taking another person’s life, but I wasn’t. I was glad he was gone. I was happy I gave him pain. I was proud that I drove him insane. Agent Goode repeated her question with emphasizes. “How did you do it?” And then the surprise hit me. My brows creased in the centre, my eyes stared firmly at hers and I straightened a little. She was asking me how, not why. Agent Goode must have seen the realization in my eyes because to my surprise again, she smiled then leaned back. Was this a test? Some sort of reversed psychology?

        “Ms. Blackburn, you’re not in trouble. You’re not charged.” Then she thought better for a moment. “Well, no there is a charge for murder.”
        “I was fifteen! And he committed suicide, so technically he wasn’t murdered.” I countered and Agent Goode smirked.

        “So you admit you did do this.” I rolled my eyes.

        “What’s your point?” I asked. Agent Goode sat up a little straighter, for a second her gaze darted down to the metal table and her jaws clenched before she looked at me again.

        “There’s a task,” She began. “A task, I feel, maybe only you can do.”
 

        I woke up to the sight of a white ceiling.

        “Good morning.” Agent Goode said from the other side of the room, and I turned my head to see her closing the curtain to the only window in the small room.

        “You know you need to stop slapping whatever it is you’re slapping on my forehead.” I said as I sat up in the creaky bed and swung my legs over to the side. Agent Goode gave me a small smile.

         “Sorry, this will be the last time.”

        “Yeah, okay.” I mumbled. I looked around the small space, two doors stood on one side of the room, one door led to the bathroom and the empty archway led to the kitchen and the front door. It was a two room house that needed cleaning, a lot of cleaning. “So this is a safe house.” My eyes skimmed over the ugly yellow wallpapers and the dusty floorboards then they landed on the grey, worn backpack at the end of my bed.

        Last night I was blindfolded and brought back to my apartment where I was able to grab a few of my belongings, which really, only consisted of the few clothes I had in my drawer and my box of tricks. As Agent Goode and I walked toward my door, I turned back around one more time and looked back at my room, where tons and tons of paper and blueprints littered the room. I pulled out a black glove from my bag, slipped my hand through and felt the coarse surface of the glove's finger tips as I lightly rubbed my fingers together, I brought my hand down on the table that stood next to me and snapped my finger, a spark triggered and the whole room burst into flames. Agent Goode whipped around and pulled me down with her as she jumped for cover, her body shielding mine but I could see her eyes widened at the sight of the flames engulfing everything but the room itself. All the paper and blueprints were gone in an instant, no smoke, no residue and no smell left behind, just a single Ace card on the floor. All evidence of my living in that room was gone, all evidence of the Four Suits’ plans vanished, and I was once again a ghost to the world. The wight of Agent Goode lessened as she got up, her mouth parted in surprise at the clean room, and before she uttered the question I lifted my gloved hand and answered. “Flash paper.”

        When Agent Goode walked out of the room and out the front door, leaving me alone for a moment I pulled the dark grey pack toward me and took out the thin, beautifully illustrated blue card out of the front pocket, I thought back to a little over a year ago when I formally received the card after the Mr. Craw incident, I stared at the words at the bottom: The Moon, and wondered if– no, I knew taking this task would mean I would no longer be a part of the Four Suits, and Raz Caelin would find that out soon enough once he finds my room empty with no trace of his letters or plans left, and the Ace card on the floor. I tucked away the tarot card and pushed myself off the creaky bed, making my way to the front door, where the door was ajar and I paused at the sound of Agent Goode’s voice.

        “Zach, I know what I’m doing is– No, Zach don’t. This might be the best solution and you know it.” Who was Zach? I didn’t hear another voice, so either Agent Goode was nuts or she was on the phone, and I’m leaning more toward phone call because that seemed more logical, I think. I felt bad for eavesdropping, but I couldn’t stop listening when Agent Goode’s voice was quiet, strained and almost begging. “Zach, don’t you dare go, please. Not alone, don’t go alone. I can’t–” She paused and let out a deep breath.

        “Zach,” Her voice so quiet I almost didn’t hear what she said. “Please don’t let the kids to be fatherless.” At this I turned away and walked back to the other room, my heart tightened for a second before I shook away the feeling. It was getting personal. Okay, yeah I know it was already a personal phone call, but at least I walked away now. I sank back onto the bed. Agent Goode had a husband. She had kids. Was this another one of the reasons I was chosen? I rubbed my hands together and leaned back on the bed just as Agent Goode came back into the room and cocked her head.

        “Come on, our ride is here.”
 

        I sat near the window at the backseat while Agent Goode sat in the passenger seat, and our driver whom I heard Agent Goode call Grant, a rather tall man with dark brown curls and sun-tanned skin, sat at the front in the driver’s seat.

        “So your name is Persephone?” Grant asked with a glance at the rear view mirror, I caught his dark eyes for a split second before turning back to my window.

        “Mhm,”

        “That’s a cool name, like the Greek Goddess.” He said and I refrained from rolling my eyes, letting the silence linger into awkwardness after a while. Then Grant clicked his tongue a little too loud that startled me, and turned his head to look at Agent Goode.

        “How are you, Cam?” He asked. Cam– err, no, Agent Goode, brought a hand to Grant's face and turned his attention back to the road. Grant chuckled. “Don’t worry I won’t jump to the other side of the road.” I continued to watch the scenery zip pass as Agent Goode laughed along with Grant, a little inside joke between two old friends, but if anyone from the outside looked in through the windows, they probably would have seen a happy couple with a typical teenager for a daughter. A happy little, interracial family out on a final last road trip on a sunny day before school started for their baby girl. My nails bit into my palms and I clenched my teeth.  
 
        “Just be glad I convinced Bex to let me drive the two of you instead.” Grant said and Agent Goode laughed again. But on the inside of the car, we were anything but a family and I was just a complete stranger to the two friends. 

        “Thank you for saving Persephone from that terror.” I felt the car stop, idling a bit longer than it should have and then turned, the car ride was starting to feel like it was never going to end and Agent Goode must have read my mind, or saw the look on my face because she said, “counter surveillance,” The look on my face must have betrayed my confusion because she then added, “making sure we’re not being followed.” I nodded as if I really understood and turned back to my window, images blurred and blended with one another as they passed by and I felt my eyelids grow heavier and heavier.

        I jolted awake when the car came to a stop and Grant announced, “We’re here.” I looked out the window to see the sky had already turned dark, but what captivated my attention was the giant white stoned mansion with ebony black roof tiles, that stood on a perfectly manicured lawn. I gazed up to see a large balcony hanging over me, and the bottom part of the balcony was merged with the tall arch that stood over the front doors, at both sides of the archway were long, but large white pillars. Agent Goode held open the door and I climbed out, pulling my backpack onto my shoulders as I stared up at the building, the lights spewing from the mansion seemed so alive and full, unlike the small apartment I was used to living in. I turned around, looking past the roof of the black car behind me, and saw a grand fountain framed by the circular driveway and passed the fountain and driveway was a tall back fence, the bottom lined with rosebushes, I heard the soft spews and splashes of the running water and breathed in the last of the peaceful, summer air.

        This mansion was anything but old, Agent Goode had told me the Gallagher Academy had been more than a hundred and fifty years old, but the building in front of me said otherwise as the structure of the so-called hundred and fifty year old mansion was built with a modern sense. The white walls were a mix of smooth stones and concrete walls, windows lined the sides and underneath the windows grew bushes and flowers, while the driveway was a long, curving path of cobblestones, and it looked as if the past of the mansion was battling with the present.

        “Dad!” I watched as the girl ran from the open mansion doors and into the arms of her father, I felt my heart tighten as I watched Grant swing his daughter as she giggled and hugged her tightly. I looked away, my hands balled into fists and I found myself with the same old anger running back through my veins, the fire that I thought I satisfied and distinguished when I saw Isidore Craw drowned in his own blood, but there was something new now and it twisted in my stomach.

        “Hey baby girl,” Grant chuckled then set his daughter down, he turned to me just as Agent Goode gave me a gentle push forward. “Scarlet, this is Persephone. Persephone, this is my eldest daughter Scarlet Newman.”

        Scarlet smiled, she had the same sun kissed tan as her father, her high cheekbones are probably from her mother and she bore a strong British accent as she said, “Hello, it’s nice to meet you. Are you in the same year as me?”

        “No, Persephone’s actually in your brother’s year.” Agent Goode answered for me, she then nudged me forward again. “Scarlet, could you take Persephone to the girl’s room? Your father and I have somethings we need to take care of.” Scarlet happily agreed and took me by my wrist, dragging me away from the peaceful night and into the mansion.

        I’m not exaggerating when I say I was blinded by the unbelievably bright lights of the foyer, if I hadn’t just seen the night sky outside, I would have thought it was afternoon inside this mansion. My head fell back as my gaze trailed up at the three story high foyer, a large crystal chandelier hung in the middle, dangling over a smaller white fountain and behind the small fountain was a lounging area with couches and chairs lined with soft, velvet cushions. Two grand staircases mirrored each other, almost framing the chandelier and lounge from both sides as they curved up and leading to the second platform. The simple, white marble floor of the foyer was so polish I could see our reflection as Scarlet took me to one of the grand staircases.

        “Tomorrow’s the first day of school, so it’s going to get even more hectic than it is now.” Scarlet explained as she pulled me up the grand stairs. There’s going to be more students here tomorrow than there is today, the thought ran over and over through my mind as I watched students racing down the shiny, polished halls laughing and giggling, some stopping to call Scarlet over but she waved them off, holding my wrist up as if that explained everything, but I guess it did because the other students shrugged and moved on, but with curious looks toward me.

        Dags, how big was this school? It felt like an absolute maze, a very shiny white-marbled-and-gold-designed-walls maze, as Scarlet led me by the wrist, twisting and turning corners and upstairs. Finally, Scarlet slowed as we began approaching a hall where I assume was the girl’s common room. We entered a large beige and white round room that looked too modern with its glossy wooden floors and fashionable walls, a round couch was built into the floor while on the other side of the room was another lounging area. Scarlet pulled me passed the comfy, long couches that sat in front a black marble-stone fireplace with a large T.V. hanging above it, and toward the spiraling stairs. She brought me to the second floor and into one of the rooms where three girls occupied the room with four beds, two beds lined one wall and the other two lined the other while four identical wooden trunks lay at the end of the beds. A window stood opposite of me at the other side of room where beneath it, sat a small window-seat with red velvet cushion and pillows, four moderate desks occupied the four corners of the room.

        “Cassy, Lindy, Trena, this is your new roommate, Persephone… Um,” Scarlet turned to me and I looked at her, realizing for a moment that she didn’t know my last name.

        “Blackburn,” I said quietly. I looked at the three new faces staring back at me, the first to approach me was a short, curvy girl with a round face and long brown hair.

        “Hi, I’m Cassandra Ng, but you can call me Cass,” She smiled sweetly and her dark blue eyes smiled with her, then she gestured to the girl sitting on one of the trunks, who tucked her long legs underneath her and ran a hand through her wavy black hair, giving me a perfectly sweet and charming smile, “that’s Lindy McHenry-Winters and that’s,” Cass gestured to the last girl who sat on one of the beds, her dark red hair pulled back into a ponytail. “Trena Vale.”

        “Your bed is over there,” Trena pointed to the bed near the window.

        “You girls help Persephone settle in then,” Scarlet patted my back, giving me a pearly white smile then walking away. I stepped into the room and felt their eyes on me as I made my way to my bed where I dropped my backpack and pulled out my pajamas.

        “Bathroom’s over there,” a voice came from behind and I turned around to see Lindy pointing to the other side of the room, where a white door stood open, revealing a mirror that hung over a sink. I nodded thanks and walked over to bathroom, closing the door behind me I stared back at the girl in the mirror. I took a deep breath in, closing my eyes then relaxing my shoulders as I let the breath out. Millions of thoughts and questions swarmed my mind: how did I end up here? I was just a magician, an illusionist, and now I’m here? A magician recruited to be trained as a spy? Is that even possible? They were two very different things! This is what a spy school looks like? My entire life has always been one wild and messy ride, one hill after the other, so this should be normal for me, going from place to place never having a real home to settle into completely. But being here, provided with such luxury, I couldn’t help but feel this was a bit different.

        When I came back out from the bathroom, my face freshly washed and in the comfort of my plaid pajama bottoms and black t-shirt, the lights were already off and everyone was in their beds sleeping. I quietly walked back to my bed where my backpack sat undisturbed. I looked around the dark room, the only light came from the moon through our window. I was used to dark quiet rooms, after all I did live by myself until Agent Goode busted in and swept me away, but what I wasn’t used to was having others around me. I heard someone’s soft snore, my eyes passed over the girl sleeping in the bed next to mine she stirred and turned in her sheets. The room was already decorated with posters, clothes were strewn around the floor, I saw one desk filled with books and paper, another with a stereo already plugged in and propped up. I took in the sight of the lived-in room, and knew at that instant I didn’t belong because even though these girls were being trained into the spy business, they were still girls with favourite bands and favourite books, they had the comfort of each other, known each other long enough to call one another sisters or best friends, I on the other hand, am a complete stranger, an outsider who knows nothing of what it means to be like these girls, to be like these people. So I grabbed my bag, pulled on a sweater and quietly made my way to the door and did what I did best, disappear without another trace.

        I started wandering the corridors, attempting to retrace my steps but the mansion at night with all its light suddenly burnt out, looked very different from the mansion with all its light on and people running around the halls. The whole place was quiet, as if the mansion itself was asleep, and I found the dark empty halls somewhat comforting and peaceful. I came across a set of stairs and headed down, thinking it was the same set of stairs from earlier before, but the mansion completely transformed that night as I ended up in a really dark hall, with only the moonlight from both the windows and sunroof guiding me along. I stopped in my tracks and looked around, in front of me windows curved with the round shape of the room, flowerbeds lined the outside of the windows and on my right was a long, wide corridor that branched out. Though the hall and corridors were cleaned and polish, I couldn’t help but feel this part of the mansion was deserted, abandoned. The light from the moon was snuffed out by large dark clouds, and suddenly a shiver ran down my spine and I felt like I was being watched, I clutched the worn strap of my backpack and slowly began walking backwards all the while watching the shadows around me. The eerie sense of this abandoned part of the mansion already gave me the creeps, and then as if some magical force wanted to take it to the next level, the sound of a music box began to play from the corridor. I turned fast on my heels and was ready to run for my life when the silhouette of a man leaning against the wall stopped me, I reached for the pocket knife at the side of my backpack when, as if on cue, the moonlight lit the hall around us again and saved the man from a bloody fate. I noticed his hair was damp and a white towel hung around his neck, he was wearing a white t-shirt with grey sweats. The man nodded to my hand that had grasped the pocket knife.

        “You won’t need that,” He said then pushed himself off the wall and offered his hand. “I’m Zach, Zach Goode, one of the teachers at this school.” My hand dropped to my side. Good thing the moon came out or I would have seriously been in trouble.

        “You’re Agent Goode’s…” The words trailed away as Zach– or, err, Mr. Goode began to laugh.

        “Well, she’s technically known as Headmistress Goode here.” He laughed again as I felt my mouth hung open. “But I’m guessing she didn’t mention that part to you.” He didn’t wait for an answer before he pointed back to the hall where the sound of the music box continued to play.

        “I thought for sure that would have gotten your curiosity.”

        “The creepy music box?” I asked and he nodded. “Oh yeah, who wouldn’t follow the creepy music playing in an abandoned part of a huge mansion.” I said in a tone with a little too much sarcasm than I had intended but Mr. Goode only laughed it off.

        “No, you’re right,” He said then cocked his head. “But come on,” He started walking toward the hall where the music box was coming from, my eyes stayed on his back as I pocketed the knife in my hoodie before following him down the hall where one door stood ajar and the sound of the music box grew louder and louder. I pushed open the door to see Mr. Goode standing in the middle of the crisp white room, turning about as he looked around, as if he was reminiscing memories from the room. Then I noticed a neatly made bed facing the two tall windows with black curtains parted in the middle framing the night sky, a black wall desk (with the music box sitting on top) propped open at the side and a closet to the left of me while a bathroom stood to my right.

        “This room, this whole corridor is no longer in use,” Mr. Goode said, “It was for our returning students back when the school was being rebuilt. If you’d like, Ms. Blackburn, this could be your room.” Mr. Goode turned to look at me, a small smile on his face. I didn’t say anything as I looked around the room and Mr. Goode sighed.

        “I’ve been in a similar situation as you, Ms. Blackburn.” I raised a brow as if to say oh, really now? And Mr. Goode laughed a breathy laugh. “You feel as though you don’t belong? Even in this sea of crowded students and classmates. Sure, this isn’t home–”
“I’ve never really had a home,” I whispered under my breath, interrupting him and wishing I hadn’t. I had an apartment, I had a roof over my head, food on my table (mostly take-out and microwaved frozen rice but still food was food), I had a place that I was grateful for shelter but it was anything but home. I felt the tips of my ears burn red when his eyes looked into mine, and he gave me a sad, almost knowing smile.

        “Neither did I,” he said, “but I at least had a room for a while, even if it was temporary, it was mine in a way.” He gestured around the room and my eyes followed, then he continued. “Of course I can’t begin to fathom what you must be feeling after what has been requested of you, on that scale you and I are on different ends of the spectrum. I was born into this, a family business if you will call it. But you, on the other hand Ms. Blackburn, were suddenly thrust in it.” Mr. Goode’s gaze was firm and serious as he took a step toward me.

        “Believe me when I say, you would not be here if the Headmistress and the entire faculty does not think you’re up for this challenge.” I opened my mouth to protest but Mr. Goode continued on as if he hadn’t notice, there was no urgency in his tone, he wasn’t trying to shove or force all this down on me, he was calm and confident as he spoke. “Ms. Blackburn, as spies we did our research, we studied you, and though I must admit you were one of our harder cases to track and gather information on, which in that by itself only strengthens our confidence in you, we absolutely believe you could do this.”

        Needless to say I was speechless. I couldn’t find the words or strength to prove his point otherwise, though I must admit I was kind of proud of myself for giving even the CIA and their secret agents a hard time finding me, so I gestured to the room and said, “Was this yours?” Mr. Goode looked at me for a moment before he smiled.

        “Kind of, my room was in this area but then they had to rebuild the academy after the fire.” I felt my mouth part into a small O as I thought back to the new look of the walls and floors, and the girl’s common room. I almost didn’t see the distant, silent look in his eyes as they lazily drifted around the room. Mr. Goode had seen the school with its hundred year old walls, walked down its hall and attended its classes, and came back with his wife to teach, and I had to wonder if I’d ever go back to the Four Suits, that is if Raz would take me back.

        “I hope you would consider staying at this school, Ms. Blackburn. Do not take this lightly when I say that the Gallagher Academy does not often take in outsiders, much less an outsider with your caliber and with such little connection and background. So please, believe me when I say, I believe you are capable of whatever this school throws at you.” He said. I realized he was watching me the whole time, my eyes took in the room, and his hands were in the pockets of his sweatpants making his posture seemed relaxed as if he knew I wouldn’t put up a fight. He had said it with such ease and sincerity that I almost believed I could belong here, and I suppose he had sensed it too because then he said, “Oh, you’ll find your uniform in your closet.” Mr. Goode nodded to the closet at my left and then something struck me.

        “How did you know I would–” I gestured to the music box on the desk, unable to find the words for what I’m trying to say. Run away? Accidentally wander down this abandoned area? But luckily Mr. Goode seemed to understand well at what I’m trying to say, at least I thought until he shrugged, a smirk tugged at the corner of his lip and he pointed to himself.

        “Spy.” He said and the smirk broke into a wide grin making the corner of his eyes crinkled. Mr. Goode walked past me, out the door and into the hall. “Tomorrow morning the Headmistress would like to see you in her office about your schedule.” I nodded as I set my backpack down on the bed.

        “Oh, and Ms. Blackburn?” Mr. Goode stepped back into view, I turned around and he held up a finger. “Welcome to the Gallagher-Blackthorne Academy for the Exceptional Youth, I know you’ll make an exceptional Gallagher Girl.” Then he held up another finger and pointed at my pocket, “and I told you, you would not need that. Yet.” He winked and disappeared behind the door as it clicked shut. I made one turn around the room, it wasn’t my small apartment room but it was mine and I felt myself smile a little before my eyes landed on the tarot card sticking out of the pocket of my backpack. I pulled the blue tarot card out and out fell another card where it landed face down on my bed, the back of the card was matte black, I picked up the card and turned it over. At two corners of the card, on opposite ends was the letter ‘A’ in bold black, and in the centre was a crescent moon stamped in black as well. I sat at the edge of the bed, holding both cards down at my lap.

        I was The Moon.

        I was The Ace.

        I lifted my head and looked at the door where Mr. Goode disappeared behind, where the entire mansion slept while I sat in the moonlight. I am to be a Gallagher Girl. Then I glanced over to my bag that sat opened, in the moonlight, with a few of its content out in the open, some of my clothes and the old, dented and worn metal box of tricks.

        I was the girl that time forgot.